Minister of Defense Hojs Visits Colorado
After attending the NATO Summit in Chicago, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. AleĹˇ Hojs; the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Dobran BoĹľiÄŤ; the Slovenian Ambassador to the U.S., Roman Kirn; and Slovenian Defense AttachĂ© to the U.S.,Col. Ladislav Graber, visited the State of Colorado on May 22 and 23, 2012.
In the framework of State Partnership Program, Colorado National Guard (CNG) is a partnership unit of Slovenian Armed Forces (SV). The cooperation between the two began in 1993, shortly after Slovenia gained its independence in 1991. At first, it was based on the Mill-to-Mill program, but, later on, the CNG and SV began to work together in other fields where they can share their experience and knowledge. Colorado National Guard and the Slovenian Armed Forces are also working closely on exercise and training of members of SV and CNG in Colorado and Slovenia for the operations and management of OMLT (Operational Mentor and Liaison Team) in Afghanistan.
Minister Hojs visited the U.S. Northern Command â€“ USNORTHCOM -- where he was welcomed by its commander, Gen. Charles Jacoby. The Slovenian delegation was informed about with some facts in the history of the Command, and its main mission. USNORTHCOM provides command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts and coordinates defense support of civil authorities. It defends America's homeland -- protecting its people, national power, and freedom of action.
While meeting with the Governor of the State of Colorado and Commander-in-Chief of Colorado National Guard, Mr. John Hickenlooper, Minister Hojs expressed his thanks for cooperation in the military area. In the past 19 years, the CNG and SV have developed very strong professional and personal ties. The minister and the governor both agreed that their meeting was a wonderful opportunity to share their views on the nineteen-years-long relationship and to discuss further activities between the Army and the Guard. Minister Hojs also met with Major General Michael Edwards, who briefed him on the structure of the National Guard both within the State of Colorado and on international missions abroad.
While in Colorado, Minister Hojs opened a photo exhibition by Slovenian freelance photographer Manca Juvan entitled â€śAfganistan: (Un)ordinary livesâ€ť. In Afghanistan, Colorado National Guard members and Slovenian Armed Forces have currently been cooperating in the Operational Liaison Team Mission (OMLT4) since mid-April 2012. The photos that show powerful images of ordinary everyday life in Afghanistan were prior on display at the Slovenian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Minister Hojs and the Slovenian delegation also attended the commencement ceremony for the 54th generation of cadets at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Slovenian Armed Forces student Matija ZupanÄŤiÄŤ was one of the cadets that graduated from the Academy.